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2022 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey Says:

Health Benefits Rising in Importance to Talent Recruitment, Workplace Wellbeing

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on September 27, 2022

2022 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey Says:

Health Benefits Rising in Importance to Talent Recruitment, Workplace Wellbeing

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on September 27, 2022

Whether working Canadians are looking to improve their wellbeing or searching for a new job, they’re placing greater value on health benefits and workplace wellness supports. Employers in turn are shoring up their benefit plans to attract and keep top talent.

These are some of the key findings of the newly released 2022 Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey. We’ve captured them here to give plan sponsors and advisors actionable insights into what’s trending in group health benefits.

Benefit Plans

  • Members gave their benefit plans higher marks than the previous year, with 77% rating their quality as excellent or good. The approval rating jumped to 92% among those with access to virtual care through their plans.
  • Only 5% described their plan as poor, down from 10% in 2021
  • For their part, 30% of plan sponsors added benefits or increased coverage levels, almost triple the result just a year ago.
  • Employee attraction and retention is now the top reason employers offer benefit plans (21%).

Plan options

  • Health Spending Accounts (HSAs) and Personal Wellness Accounts (PWAs) are gaining favour among plan members and sponsors alike, with 9 out of 10 agreeing these types of accounts are important
  • Nearly half (48%) of sponsors offer HSAs to employees, followed by Employee Assistance Programs (42%) and PWAs (30%)
  • Virtual care is a component of 29% of plans and 88% of sponsors are satisfied with their offering
  • Among lesser-known benefits, health-risk screenings, immunizations for infectious diseases and genetic testing to determine risks for certain diseases drew the most interest from plan members.


  • For the second year in a row, half of plan members delayed seeking treatment during the pandemic, increasing to almost two out of three among those in poor mental health.
  • 78% of sponsors are concerned about the pandemic’s long-term impact on the cost of benefit plans

Physical, mental health

  • Nearly half (47%) of plan members reported their health was generally excellent or very good in the past year, up from 43% in 2021.
  • However, one in five plan members described their mental health as poor
  • Plan sponsors are responding. Close to six in 10 now have mental-health training programs for managers and/or staff, up from about a third five years ago.
  • Half of sponsors increased or planned to increase their coverage maximum for mental health counselling in the coming year.

Chronic disease

  • About three out of five (58%) plan members reported being diagnosed as having at least one chronic disease or condition, comparable to last year (60%) and previous years.
  • Mental-health conditions such as depression or anxiety (22% in 2022) lead most diagnosed chronic conditions and have since 2019. Other top conditions included high blood pressure (12%), high cholesterol (12%) and arthritis (11%)

Remote work

  • 7 out of 10 employees can work from home and very few (less than one in 10) want to return to the office
  • 72% of plan members are either extremely or very satisfied with working from home
  • 75% of sponsors described a hybrid or virtual work environment as a positive development for their organization
  • 68% of sponsors are worried about the impact on recruitment and retention if employees are mandated back to the workplace

Benefits Canada surveyed 1,000 plan members and 550 plan sponsors in April 2022. In addition to exploring the continuing impact of COVID-19, the survey builds upon 24 years of historical survey data. Survey sponsors include the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, of which Medavie Blue Cross is a member.

Read the full Benefits Canada Healthcare Survey Report.

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